Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Anderson Letters

Anderson Letters:

Correspondence from the Civil War

8th Confederate Cavalry
his first wife

~also from~
his brother
"Ben Hill Infantry", Co. F, 21st Regt. GA
his father
planter and horsebreeder

An Introduction

In the summer of 1969, William Earl Anderson, then 16 years old, met his Great Aunt Pauline Anderson Yates on a family visit to Georgia. From that meeting of the generations, the existence of and content of these letters came to light. Together with Aunt Pauline's correspondence, these letters reveal a small but significant slice of life during this rich, yet difficult period of US history. For a brief introduction to the Anderson family and it's involvement in the War Between the States... click here.



Correspondence from John R. Anderson to William R Anderson
one letter / archive item #2
[in which John writes home from Camp Instructions near Richmond two weeks after being mustered into the Ben Hill Volunteers]

Correnspondence from William R. Anderson
to his wife Frances L. Anderson in West Point, Georgia
nine items / archive items #4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19

Correspondence from Frances "Fannie" Lumpkin Anderson
to her husband William R. Anderson--
"state hand" / 8th Confederate Cavalry
five letters / archive items #5, 6, 7, 14, 16
[in which Fannie tells her husband about her life back home waiting]

The JOHN R. ANDERSON, Sr. Letters
Correspondence from John R. Anderson, Sr.
to his son Wm. R. Anderson
two letters(enclosures) / archive items #13, 3
[in which father reports to son on the state of his crops, home, etc., and gives some information about Nicholas and James, William's brothers, also serving in the Confederate Army]

The Correspondence of PAULINE YATES
Written in 1969 to her great grand-nephew William E. Anderson, great great grandson of William Richardson Anderson / archive items #21, 22, 23 & 24, 25
[in which more information is given about Wm Anderson's life after his military service and information about the Anderson homestead in Troup Co. GA]

Journal Entries of WILLIAM E. ANDERSON
Pertinent info relating to the exchange of information between Pauline Yates
and William E. Anderson, then 16 years old / archive item #26
[in which WEA writes about meeting his Aunt Pauline,
receiving the Letters, and about Pauline's death.]


ANDERSON Family Archive

~An Introduction~


In the summer of 1969, William Earl Anderson, then 16 years old, met his Great Aunt Pauline Anderson Yates on a family visit to Georgia. Born in Charleston, SC and raised in Erie Co., PA, "Earl" won the trust of Aunt Pauline with his keen interest in the family heritage and his ambition to write an historical novel based on a southwest Georgia family at the turn of the century. As her health failed, Aunt Pauline decided to entrust Billy, as he was later known, with the care and keeping of the Civil War era correspondence of her late father William Richardson Anderson, who was conscripted into the Confederate cavalry, and his first wife, Frances Lumpkin Anderson. Also included in the packet she sent to him were notes from her grandfather and family patriarch, John "Jack" Richardson Anderson, and her uncle John R Anderson who died in the first battle of Gaines Mill.

"Jack" [who married Mary Susan Carter in 1833 and relocated to Chambers Co, Alabama/Troup Co, Georgia from Pittsylvania Co., Virginia in 1842] was a planter and horse breeder, and like all Southern families, the Andersons suffered extreme hardship and deep personal sorrow during the War Between the States. But [they] survived into old age… and were buried in the family cemetery, in a peaceful grove of trees a few hundred yards northwest of their home.

"The heavy toll exacted from the South during the Civil War can be seen in microcosm in the lives of Jack and Mary Susan's four eldest children [the oldest of 10 children in total], who were born in Virginia and traveled to Georgia with their mother in 1842. Martha, the eldest, married a Mr. Fears, settled in Mississippi and had two daughters, Lucy and Martha. Both she and her husband died during the War, and Jack brought his two orphaned granddaughters home from Mississippi to rear.

"The next two, John R. and James M., enlisted in local volunteer companies in July 1861 and served in the army of Northern Virginia, C.S.A. John R., a private in the "Ben Hill Infantry", Co. F, 21st Regt., Ga. Vol. Inf., was wounded during the Seven Days' Battle at Cold Harbor, near Richmond, Va., on June 27, 1862 and died two days later, while James, a member of the "West Point Guards", Co. D, 4th Regt., Ga. Vol. Inf., promoted to 3rd Sergeant in April 1862, was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864.

"Finally, William Richardson ("Will") Anderson, [NOTE: author of most of these letters] born April 7, 1867, settled down before the War, buying some land from his father, building a house in Chambers Co. about a half-mile west of his parents and marrying Frances J. ("Fannie") Lumpkin of Oglethorpe Co. Ga., all in 1858, but he, too, saw action, possibly at the Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 6, 1962) as a member or major Bell's Battalion, Ala. Cavalry and/or Capt. Pinkard's Co., Brewer's Regt., 2nd Ala. & Miss. Cavalry…

"…Will was discharged at the beginning of 1863; 11 months later, his wife died after giving birth to their daughter, Fannie Alice, who in turn died aged nine months, in July 1864. After being discharged from the cavalry, in 1863, Will Anderson came home and resumed his life as a farmer, schoolteacher and sometime judge. Widowed later that year, he married three more times … "

Aunt Pauline letters also mention two more delightful family anecdotes involving younger brothers Nicholas and "Major" Anderson [the youngest commissioned officer of the Confederate Army at 9 years of age] which can be read in her letters and enclosures at this link… click here.

This website is devoted to making the background and contents of these letters available to members of the Anderson family and to others who might find this time in history and the lives of its unwitting participants of interest.

[Quotes taken from Descendants of William Henry Anderson, Sr. and Ruth McGinty Anderson: Family History and Genealogical Charts compiled by William Earl Anderson, July 1985; presented at the Anderson Family Reunion in Lexington, KY - July 12-14, 1985]

John R. Anderson Letter

The Anderson Letters
archive item #2

John Richardson Anderson
Private -- "Ben Hill Infantry"
Company F, 21st Regiment
Georgia Volunteer Infantry


William Richardson Anderson
his brother
West Point, Georgia

-- Archive item: #2 JRA to WRA (to view letter click here)

Pencil on white paper, 7 13/16” by 9 15/16”, with watermark (‘Windsor Mills” / crown upper left)
1 sheet, both sides

Camp Instructions [1], near Richmond, VA
[Monday] Aug the 5th 1861

Dear Brother. After having been here two weeks I attempt to write you a few lines in order that you may hear from us. We arrived here on Monday before last, we had some inconveniencies in getting up here, we had to ride on old freight boxes with no cover on them through the rain, Although we got here safe and sound. we have discharged two members of the company, on the account of their health. We have two or three on the sick list, all of the rest of us are as well as could be expected. Jess Haralson [2] told me just this minute ago that Lincoln sent Jeff Davis a white flag yesterday, so if that be true, the probability is, we will be at home in a short time enjoying our peaceful firesides, which we now long to be at, provided we could have peace, that report is not reliable yet, I don’t know whether it is true or not. There is an average of three killed here every day, some by guards and some fighting. I suppose there is about 40 or 50 thousand soldiers here. Jeff has been fixing up for the city of Washington, though we don’t know whether we will have the chance at it or not, for we believe old Abe is going to nuck to Jeff. I suppose you have heard all about the battle of Manassas Junction [3]. There was a Negro up there carried by a company, who was attacted by two northern troups while he was out in the woods, he killed one of them with his big kife [sic], and took the other one prisoner, and he was allowed to bring him down here, and deliver him up in the prison. We have a lively time up here. We have the most civil company in the whole encampment, I think and the stoutest one on the ground here. I meet up with a great many of my old friends, daily, in different companies &c. I am sitting down on the ground writing on my knee, with hundreds of soldier all around me. this is Monday morning, good many are drilling at this time. I have just been looking over a Richmond dispatch [4], though there was not any news of any great importance. My mind is flustrated I cant scarsely think of any thing to write, there are so much confusion going on, so many mouths going on at the same time. I received a letter from Eliza Saturday, with a great deal of pleasure. We don’t know when we will have to leave here, we received marching orders some time ago. Write immediately, if you think any thing of your humble brother. Back your letters to me, care of capt Boykin [5], Richmond Va Give my best regards to all enquiring friends, and tell them we desire their prays [sic] We are all very well satisfied with our fair. I have seen more since I left home, than I thought I ever would see. Nothing more until I hear from you. Your humble brother Jno R Anderson

(John Anderson was wounded on June 27, 1862, during the Seven Days' Battle at Cold Harbor near Richmond, VA,(see map of the battle) and died two days later, on Sunday, June 29, 1862. )



John R. Anderson was born in 1838 in Troup County Georgia, son of John R Anderson and Mary Susan Carter Anderson. He was married (most probably to Eliza as mentioned in this letter). He had no children, no property, no slaves. He was mustered in to the “Ben Hill Infantry” on July 9, 1961. This unit became Company F, 21st Georgia Infantry.

A man named Ujanirtus Allen served as a lieutenant in this company. His correspondence was recently published by LSU Press, under the title A GEORGIAN WITH “OLD STONEWALL” IN VIRGINIA. In these writings he mentions John R. Anderson twice. On June 30, 1862, three days after the battle of Gaines’ Mill outside of Richmond, Allen says, “John R. Anderson was mortally wounded in the head and died yesterday evening.” In a letter dated July 2, 1862, Allen states “John Anderson died June 29th from a ball that entered the brain on the left side above the ear.”

Upon being wounded John Anderson was carried to Starke House Hospital (view here). Starke’s Hospital was the family residence of Joseph Starke and was located not far from Walnut Grove Church on route 636.The present entrance is on route 360 and the subdivision located here takes its name from the old site. In September 1978, an historical marker noting this site was dedicated in ceremonies at US 360 near route 643. In 1931, the house was dismantled and the material, wood, mantels, floors, etc. were taken to Williamsburg to aid in the restoration of the old homes there.

A July 4, 1862 piece in the Richmond DAILY WHIG states the following:

“WOUNDED IN THE COUNTRY—A large proportion of the soldiers of General Jackson’s Division, who were wounded on Friday last, are at the “Starke House Hospital,” in Hanover county. Dr. Hancock*, of this city, is the Surgeon in charge—a guarantee that the patients are well attended to. The ladies of the Neighborhood are untiring in their care of the brave “boys” who contributed to their release from Yankee thralldom.” [*Dr. F.W. Hancock, Chief Surgeon, 3rd Division, Surgeon in Chief of Hospital]

John Anderson lies buried in Section O, Grave #257, in the Confederate section of Hollywood Cemetery, located at 412 S. Cherry St., Richmond, VA.



[1] “Camp Instructions” was established at the Fairfield Racetrack, about two and half miles outside of Richmond, VA. The camp was also known as the New Fairgrounds. This was the second campsite occupied by Anderson’s company when it reached Richmond. They were there by July 28, 1861 and remained there for roughly a month. At that time the company was part of the 4th Georgia Infantry Battalion, and organization later expanded and re-designated the 21st Georgia Infantry.

[2] Jesse Burgess Haralson, Jr. enlisted in the Ben Hill Infantry on the same day as John R. Anderson. He received promotions to sergeant and lieutenant later in the war.

[3] This refers to the first Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), a Confederate victory under Jackson’s leadership. Soon after, Anderson would serve under General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

[4] The RICHMOND DISPATCH was one of the large newspapers in the Confederate capital.

[5] John Thomas Boykin, Jr. organized the “Ben Hill Volunteers” and was the company’s first captain. He was apparently popular with his men and served as captain of Anderson’s company until May 31, 1862 when he resigned due to poor health and returned to Troup County. Soldiers often instructed those at home to send letters to them addressed in care of their commanding officer.

Many thanks to Keith Bohannon, co-editor of A GEORGIAN WITH “OLD STONEWALL“ IN VIRGINIA, and to Mr. E. James Miles for correspondence that provided the above information.

William Richardson Anderson


"State Hand", Conscript,
8th Confederate Cavalry, CSA
His letters were written during the Spring and Summer of 1862 during the American Civil War
April 7, 1837
February 4, 1914

WRA Letter #1 - February 26, 1862

The Anderson Letters
archive item #4

William R. Anderson
private citizen and "state hand"
Mobile, Alabama
Frances J. Lumpkin Anderson
his wife
West Point, Georgia


ink on brown lined paper

Mobile Ala Feb the 26, 1862

Dear Fannie
I left Cusseta the morning after I left home—lay over in Montgomery until next morning, came on the cars to Mobile got here last night at 10 oclock without any accident to myself or Negroes. Our Negroes were put in a cotton [ ? ] which is a very comfortable place for them. I drew plenty of provisions for them and myself, fresh pork, meal & peas – the overseers tell me that sometimes they draw very little provisions. There is a good deal of sicknefs among the Negroes down here, has been several cases of small pox among them. I have not gone out to the fortifications[1] yet; my negroes have got to undergo an examination by an army surgeon before they go to work. The overseers are furnished a very comfortable room to sleep in; a Negro to cook for them. From what I have heard here I don’t apprehend any danger of being conscripted[2] as long as I have the Negroes in charge. Tell Father that I got in company with Sim Copeland, Lanier [?Cason?] is coming down: he says that Tom Pearson, the man that bought Sim’s land in Pike Co Ala, died last fall in the army; he says Pearson had sold his land before he died and he rather thinks that his estate has been administered on. I think Sim’s business down there should be looked after.

Send our buggy over to Father’s. You can send over there for it when you need it. Keep the harnefs and my saddle in the house. Write soon and let me know how how [sic] you are getting on. Direct your letters in Mobile Ala. Your husband
W.R. Anderson

[P.S.] send me a couple of fish hooks in your letter with lines on them.


[1] Mobile Bay Civil War Forts (1864 - 1865)
Mobile Bay ¤National Archives MAP¤
Confederate fortifications included Fort Huger, Fort Tracey, Battery McDermott (aka Fort McDermott), and Old Spanish Fort, all in Spanish Fort. There was also Fort Powell (six-gun earthwork, no remains) at Grant's Pass, Battery Craven, Canal Battery and Fort Alexandria. On land south of town near the mouth of Mobile River was Fort Sidney Johnston, Battery Buchannon, Mound Battery, and Battery Misouri (sic). On the water at the mouth of Mobile River were Battery Gladden (12-guns), Battery Tilghman, Camel Battery, Battery McIntosh (12-guns), and two Floating Batteries. In addition there was also one Floating Battery upriver north of town. - Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2002 American Forts Network

[2] It was thought that because Wm. Anderson was a slave owner who offered his slaves in service to the Cause, working on the fortifications outside of Mobile, that he would not be conscripted. It becomes apparent as these letters progress, that at some point he was drafted along with his horse(s). Wm. eventually became part of the Eighth Confederate Cavalry, seeing action at the Battle of Shiloh and becoming part of "Beauregard's Retreat". He spent the rest of his time in the service trying to buy a substitute and make his way home.

HISTORICAL NOTE: "Because the south had fewer people available, they began a controversial draft in 1862, a year earlier than the north. All men 17-50 were eligible for duty, except for slave owners and overseers. Conscription was so unpopular in the mountain areas of Northern Georgia and Alabama and Eastern Tennessee that the Confederate officials did not attempt to enforce it. As the war dragged on and casualties mounted, the south became more desperate for soldiers." click here for more info

WRA Letter #2 - March 23, 1863[2]

#8 WRA II to FLA

Mobile Ala March the 23rd 1863[2]

Dear Fannie
having recd two letter from you one yesterday and one today, I avil myself of this opportunity in writing to you to let you know that I am still living – I have had two severe chills since I have been here but I have got them broke now and doing tolerably well. You said something about giving all we possefs for me to be at home. You are no more anxious for me to come home than I am to get there – and I think when my sixty days are out I will come home and go to Camp Watts for examination and risk being conscripted. Dr. Smith says that he has no idea that I would be recd. if you have not said anything to Father about my proposition in letter of Saturday [March__] you need not mention it as I am determined to undergo an examination before I will go into camp or pay Eighteen hundred dollars for a substitute either.

I might keep in businefs here until these fortifications are finished. I recon by sticking my nose in ever Dutchman’s & Irishman’s sterns that I meet as they are the people that are controlling these works and I am not willing to do that. there are thousands of applicants here for government businefs and it is getting very difficult to find a place to employ them. The general superintendent says he is getting very anxious to get rid of the overseers that came with the Negroes here and get these scamps that live here in this place as he says they would make the Negroes work more than we do. Great deal of sicknefs among the Negroes here. I have had five discharged and then many others will be discharged in a few days. I want the McLain field planted in cotton. Also the cow pen place and an acre and half in the corner of Potts field at the old + [cross]road. Write immediately.
Your affectionate husband

WRA Letter #3 - April 12, 1862


Chattanooga Tenn Apr the 12th 62

Dear Fannie
Here we are at this hole & when we will get away God only knows—we got here Friday about day-break & if we had not failed at Atlanta to get transportation through to Corinth we would have gone on towards Corinth without halting and now been prisoners in Lincolndom as the train that we would have gone on was taken by the Federals at Huntsville It is reported here that Huntsville Ala is in possession of six thousand Federalists which cuts off this place from Corinth and it is very probable that we will go back through West Point, Montgomery & Mobile to get to our battalion, though I don’t recon I will get to stop at home, though it would be pleasant to get a peep at you now, but you know that I promised not to write any love letters to you so just pardon me for this first offence and I will try to do better. Gen. E. Kirby Smith took about Four thousand troops from this place and started towards Huntsville this morning to retake the place but I don’t know how he will come out – if he succeeds of course we will go on through there to Corinth. Otherwise we will come back through West Point. It was telegraphed to this place this evening that sixty deserters from the big shanty GEO had seized a train and was coming through this place on to Nashville. We attached ourselves to a cavalry company at this place and went out to meet them but didn’t come up with them. There was also a car load of infantry composed of the citizens and a few straggling soldiers went to meet them and I have heard since I came back that they captured the train but the deserters took to their trollers and made good their escape. Don’t know how true it is.
Apr 13th – Those deserters proved to be Yanks but there have been only four of them and the train captured. We are still at Chattanooga which I think is the back bone of nowhere and will get off to West Point this evening. I am very much dissatisfied with the arrangement of affairs in this place – The take of Huntsville and burning a bridge in thirty miles of this place created about as much excitement as the loosing of an old hen and seven would create in any family in Chambers Co. though I have been told that this Co has seventeen companies in the Confederate Service & three in Federal service – there are very few Negroes in this place and the most of them are free and as imputed as bull fices [sic]. We have the car box that we started from WP on. We keep our horses on one end and eat and sleep in the other – we are all in fine health & enjoy ourselves tolerably well. I want you and your Papa to go down to our place as often as you can, and see that every thing is going on right; I cherish some hope of getting back next Spring and want something for us to live on.
Give my love to all the family and receive a double portion yourself. I will write again as soon as we get to our place of destination.
Your husband W.R.Anderson

big shanty GEO -- ???

Co – county? company?

WP – West Point

bull fices – bull feces

our place of destination – Corinth?

WRA Letter #4 - April 28, 1862

#10 WRA IV to FLA


Corinth Mifs Apr the 28th 1862

Dear Fannie
Having a few leasure [sic] moments I use them in writing to you to let you know that I am still in the land of the living – we have not been here quite a week and I have not seen much to write to you about – War seems to be the occupation of all. I have not seen a great many troops though they say there is one hundred and sixty thousand Confederate troops at this place – and they are expecting a desperate battle here any day but I don’t profefs [profess] to know anything about it. The officers of our Batalion [sic] have not drilled the men the first time since they left home; I don’t think it will ever be of much service to the Government – As for Maj. Bell I think lefs [less]of him that one man might to think of another. We were six days in getting here and I was sick the whole time but thanks be to heaven I am nearly well now. We got to Mobile at 11 Oclock [sic]one morning and lay over there until the next morning – I rode over about two miles of the place and found it to be a beautiful city. It is perfectly level and the houses are all built of brick. I staid all night at the Battle House and a fine house it is. It is a five story brick house and at least one hundred feet square. I have just got through washing out two pair of socks; they look pretty dingy - -


I don’t think I will stand a camp life well and know I can never enjoy it – This is a low flat lime country and is very rich and sickly I think – the wells are just three or four feet deep and are filled with water level with the top of the ground – Fannie, Father wants you to go down to his house and he will send you backwards and forth to our place, – I think that would be a very good arrangement and I would like very much for you to try it until crops are laid by – If there is no one to spur Wesley up it will take half of my property next winter to pay my debts – My businefs keeps me nearly crazy all the time – If you have not moved Phelix up to yo[ur] Papa’s I would let him stay where he is – and would stay there as much as I could – there are a great many young married men in our company and all of their wives are keeping house except mine – I wrote you the day after we got here but thought I wouldn’t wait to get answer before I wrote again. Please write as soon as you get this and tell me all about how things are going on at our place – and whether you have a little Pitman coming or not – if you have I think it will cure me effectually of the blues – I want you to fix me up another blanket or quilt and send it to me by the first one that comes to our company. Direct your letters to Wm R Anderson Bells Batalion Ala Cavalry Corinth Mifs – nothing more. Give my love to all the family and a accept a double portion yourself –

Your devoted husband
Wm R Anderson

a little Pitman coming– euphemism for being pregnant
now whether it was Fannie he's referring to OR the family cow, one doesn't know!

WRA Letter #5 - May 1, 1862

#12 WRA V to FLA

William R. Anderson to Fannie L Anderson
Response to her letter dated ???
Green ink on white paper, 8" by 5 5/8"
1 sheet, both sides

Corinth Mifs May the 1st 1862
Dear Fannie
I recon when you open this and see who it is from you will think I have gone crazy or have been drunk for the last week, but it is not so – I am here and haven’t much to do and no thing to read therefore I can write often. I have nothing interesting to write but Jimmie Prather will leave tomorrow and I avail myself of ever opportunity of sending a letter by hand as that is saving ten cents – There is still one half of our Batalion on the sick list – one man in our Batalion died yesterday and another this morning – one was an old man and died of measles and inattention the other had a risen in his head – neither of them belonged to our company – I think Dr. Lovelace will attend to our company very well – Thos Grimmett is the only officer that we have that is worth one cent – to convince you the well boys in our company have been out scouting seven days with no officer with them except Lieut [sic] Grimmett, and he came on day before yesterday sick and now our boys are out scouting with no higher officer with them than a corporal – I still insist on your going back to our place and staying there until crops are laid by – you would be of great advantage there – you know Wesley’s mother is very poor and he has the keys to everything – at any rate if you were there I wouldn’t be as near crazy as I am – our little Negroes would fare much better if you were there and I think would make a great deal more produce – It seems to me that you are very slow in writing to me – if you knew how anxious I am to hear from you you would certainly write – you need not think because I am here in camp I have forgotten home – you charged me very particular to write to you – this is the fourth letter I have written to you without receiving the scratch of a pen from you – Write soon and tell me whether you have a Pitman coming – I dream of home every night – Your husband, Wm R Anderson – PS—We will move a mile and a half west of this place this evening –

‘our place’ – just west of JRA’s plantation

WRA Letter #6 - June 5, 1862

#15 WRA VI to FLA

pencil on blue lined paper

Beauregard’s retreat
25 miles below Corinth
June the 5th 1862

Dear Fannie
Your highly appreciated letter came to hand a few days ago. I was truly glad to hear that you were well and such a good machine to work. I had not read a line from home until the 3rd [?word?] I got five that day one from you two from father & two from Mr. Gibeon Brown. you can guefs [guess] how glad I was to hear from you – you said in your letter that you had written to me last – I have only had the letter that Bill Moseley brought – I lost my box of provision and clothing clear right by the evacuation of Corinth – recon some Yank will have a fine time chewing my tobacco. All the boxes were lost at Corinth came on at the same time that mind did – I was staying in the country twenty miles below Corinth with measles and had been staying there 24 days when our retreat commenced – when I heard that our army was retreating I toddled off south pretty fast. my twenty four days in the country cost me Eighteen dollars but I don’t begrudge the money for I believe I would have died if I had not got at as good a place as I did. I am still in bad health but improving – I have the diarheah all the time and a bad cough. Won’t weigh more that 125 lbs. I have got[ten] to be a perfect baby – I have been sick so long – you know how much I have laughed about people crying – but I cried like a pretty fellow when I got those letters from home. Our company was in skirmish yesterday evening 3rd Lieut Thomas came in last night with a ball in his arm – We think the Yanks have got several of our sick boys – among them was Tom Brooks – I want you to be certain to go back home. I will write soon.
W R Anderson

folded so that address shows:
Mrs Frances Anderson
West Point Geo
care of John R Anderson

WRA Letter #7 - June 15, 1862

#17 WRA VII to FLA

Tupeloe [sic]Mifs June the 15th 1862

Dear Fannie
I again attempt to write to you though I have nothing to write but the same old tune - that I am still sick & don't know when I will get well - but think that if I could go home on thirty days furlough where I could get vegetables to eat and free stone water to drink I would get as fat as a pig. I have not seen a well day since I left home - the measles look like they will never get out of my system and I have the worst kind of diarheah all the time. A few nights ago I staid all night at a very nice house in company with several others and in the night I dreamed I had a chamber [pot] and got up off of my pallet and cut loose on the gentleman's fine carpet. You may guefs that I got some water & cleaned it up before I slept any more. I have the piles very bad which I am afraid will render me me [sic] unfit for the cavalry service, if I ever get over my present sicknefs I am#now staying at a private house nine miles from Tupeloe, have been staying here three or four days, will go back to camp in the morning as my money is out - staying in the country with my horse costs me about a dollar a day which you know counts pretty fast. I have borrowed about all the money I could in camp, sold apart of my clothing and my pocket knife to get money to defray my expenses -but now I am out of money out of any thing to sell and all of our company is about out of money, so I recon I will have to go back to camp and lie there and die, as we have not got a single tent. and have to sleep in the open air. I recon you would like to know where Tupeloe is, well it is fifty miles south of Corinth on the Mobile & Ohio RR and is the place that our army is stationed at at [sic] present. I don't know whether the army will make a permanent stand here or not, they are digging wells and buil[d]ing crop ways and bridges as though they were going to make a stand - but I don't think there is enough water here for the army and it is the meanest kind of lime water - I think there is a great deal of sicknefs in this division of the army and I don't think a sick soldier is cared as much for here as the people in our country care for a good dog. perhaps you would like to know what we get to eat here in the army. we generally draw fat bacon flour plenty molasses Rice and sometimes corn peas and sugar and coffee. I feel now like I never will want to see any more bacon or flour bread. Fannie I understood that you carried four middlings of meat up to your Pappa's for Phelix which would bring much more money than Phelix if put up and sold to these soldiers at the highest Bidder. I think it would be a profitable day's work to move Phelix and the four sides of bacon back home and risk Phelix getting burned, I don't know what bacon is worth there but I have seen plenty of it sell here at, 50 cts per lb and it would bring a dollar if it was asked. chickens bring a dollar a piece & butter a dollar per lb, and butter milk one dollar per qt here and in ten days it will be worth double or thrible [sic] as much. I have a splendid appetite and think if I could get the diarheah stopped I would get stout in a short time. I don't suppose I will weigh more that 125 lbs ~ It is very dry disagreeable weather here at present but corn looks fine. Please write soon as I havn't recd but one letter from you since I left home - direct your letter to me Col Brewer's Reg 2ond Ala & Mifs Cavalry, Capt Pinkards Co.
Wm R Anderson

WRA Letter #8 - June 19, 1862


Tupeloe Mifs June the 19th 1862

Dear Fannie
I wrote to you a few days ago but as I received a letter from you yesterday (which is the second I have recd from you since I left home) I thought I would write a few lines as I have a good opportunity of sending it by hand. I don't believe I feel as well as I did when I wrote several days ago - but I recon it is caused by riding fifteen miles yesterday - it is killing me to ride on horse back - I have had the diarrheah so long my bowels are perfectly sore all the time and pain me a great deal. I have the piles right bad, but don't give your self any uneasynefs about me. I think I will get well after awhile - but I am going to apply for a discharge this evening but I don't know what will be the chance to succeed. I don't want you to make any blowing horn about [it] until you hear how I have succeeded. It is mighty hard work to get a discharge and impossible to get a furlough - you wanted to know how much I would give for a substitute; if I fail to get a discharge, I think I will try to get a substitute but Four hundered dollars is as much as I can give - you must cheer up and not suffer yourself to have the blues - I don't want you to stay at home all the time; you can go to Father's and your Papa's and stay all the time ~ you will forget me entirely before I come back and would sympathize with me here in this sickly country. You wanted to know if I had thrown away my Bible. I have read it a good deal since I left home. I have tried to pray some since I have been sick and I want you to pray for me. Father sent me twenty dollars which was appreciated. Tell Wesley I want him to make me a big crop and take good care of my horses and attend to my hogs well. Kifs Kate and Fann for me and look in the glafs and kifs yourself for me. Write often.

Kate and Fann - his sisters

It is possible he did get home on furlough after 60 days in Mobile, then was drafted.

WRA Letter #9 - July 7, 1862

#19 WRA IX to FLA

pencil on white lined paper

July the 7th 1862 20 miles below
Tupelo Mifs

Dear Fannie
I again attempt to write to you as I have nothing else to do at present and think may be you would like to hear from me. I am still in very bad health though I am able to be up the most of my time though I have not got much [strength?}* as you had when I left home. I have chronic diarheah and think I am diseased all over. I am really out of hope about getting a discharge though if I live and am not discharged I think I will get me a substitute in two months roll over my head. I would not mind staying hear so bad if I could have my health. The sick soldiers are looked upon with contempt by the officers and well privates can be principally by so many sorry men that pretend to be sick to keep from doing duty. There is all kinds of men hear in the army. I don't think I can ever get well hear the way we are treated hear. I have been sleeping on the ground with nothing in [ ? ] to protect me from the dew and night air the trees of the [damaged] I have [not] done a day's duty since I have been here and don't think with all the good luck I could have I would get stout enough to do duty in lefs than six weeks or two months - but don't give your self uneasynefs about my welfare [damaged] take good care of yourself and [damaged] stout before I come so you can wait on me & humor me. I think I need that more than any thing else. We will go twenty or thirty miles below this place to recruit our horses as they all are run down. I don't think Julia is worth a hundred dollars [two lines illegible] can't hold out to transfer and rides very rough which is killing to me. If I have to stay here I will send her home or trade her off. I think she will trade tolerably well. It is very dry in this country though there would be fine crops of corn [word/ mush?] in this country if we can get rain enough in a few days. This is a [two lines illegible] to get back I will have me a place some where in that country and be satisfied there - health and good water is worth every other blessing in this world. Tell Wesley to attend the hogs will and try to make [ ? ] as usual - tell him to take good care of my horses also to work [ ? ] well for it take good many to fatten me if I am healthy enough ever to get home. I think I will be a different man when I get home from what I have [ever] been Write soon and direct your letter] to me care of Capt Rich(?) 2ond Ala & Mifs [Cavalry] don't want any one to beat [ ? ] there as [ ? ] Excuse dirty paper

*paper damaged
Brother John R Anderson was shot on June 27th at the first battle of Cold Harbor and died June 29th, but at this writing WRA did not yet know. The letters end here. Check into service and discharge of WRA.

The Frances Anderson Letters

The Anderson Letters
archive items #5, 6, 7, 14, 16

Frances "Fannie" J. Lumpkin Anderson
five letters
William Richardson Anderson
"State Hand"...and later...
8th Confederate Cavalry (conscript)

-- Archive item: #5 FLA I to WRA

March th/9
[Sunday] March 9th [1862]

Dear Billie
I recived your letter [1] day before yesterday I would have answered it yesterday but I was very busy with gardning the garden is done and nicely planted we have beded five bushels of potatoes Pa [2] said if I would send up there he would give us enough to bed Father [3] think[s] five bushels will not be enough I am going to send up there to morrow after some Billie, I was happy to here you arrived saftly [4] at Mobile but will be much happier when you have arrived saftly at home we are all getting on very well as far as I know the negres work very well as for my selfe I do the very best I now how Phelia [5] is staying with me the children [6] are very good to come over although I feel very lonely some times and think I would willingly give all we persefs [possess] if you could stay at home but there is no use in greaving over impossibility I am going to do the best I can with out you I have no news to write you nobody sick that I know of
Write soon and write often to your very affectionate Fannie

They commenced planting corn Wednesday

[1] ‘your letter’ refers to WRA to FLA dated 2/26/1862
[2] Pa refers to Fannie's father Charles Lumpkin
[3] Farther refers to William's Father, J.R.Anderson
[4] According to letter dated 2/26, William arrived safely on 2/25
[5] Phelia is thought to be a slave or nurse
[6] the children – probably Alexander and Lillis Eloise, who lived ½ mile away. The were her nephew and neice, William's youngest brother and sister.

-- Archive item: #6 FLA II to WRA

has original envelope
addressed as follows:
Mr. William R. Anderson
Overseer of State hands

[ xxxday] March th/15 [1862]

Dear Billie
I have received your seconed letter [1] I answered your first one but as I did not direct it in care of any one I do not expect you got it I am sorry to her you are sick If you get in bad helth you must come home Billie you wanted to now how I am getting on farming I do not have any thing to do with the planting of corn Farther [2] and Uncle Ellis [3] attends to that I see that your stock is all attended to well I make the Negroes get off to work early and that every thing is kept in its right place That is abought as far as I go I think we will make nearly as much as if you was her but the Negroes will steal it all…one night this week…someone broke in the smoke house and stoled one sholdir [shoulder] of meat We all have reasons to belieave it was [Shain or Shawn] [4] they went to Farthers and Mr. Childs some time ago I am afraid your corn will be stolen The hay is brought in regular though they have chances enough to steal it when they are feeding Billie I am going to stay her this year and do the best I can but if you care any thing for my happiness never ask it of me again There is so much passing about every night I can’t sleep Ben [5] come up on a Negro out her in the woods the other night with a bag of corn I have planted my garden If you come when the two months is out we will have some vegetables to eat Write me soon if you think you will come home then Shain [4] has finish[ed] all the jobs you left for him to do except the wagon shelter Write to me as soon as you get this and let me no if you want any clothing whin [when] I send your box
You must excuse this poorly written letter I no there is a hundred mistakes in it I have not bee[n] well since you left feel quite unwell to day
I had the bugy washed and sent over to Farther’s After it was washed I varnished it It looks as well as it did when you bought it I am going to keep a sharp look out for the box of oranges Do write to me soon and often You don’t know how much I appreciate them [6] Your very affectionate

There is no fish hooks in West Point [7]

[1] This letter is not found in the archive. It has been lost.
[2] 'Farther' refers to William’s father John Richardson Anderson
[3] Uncle Ellis – Ellis Carter, Mary Susan’s brother according to PA Yates, he lived with JRA & MSCA
[4] Sahwn is believed to be one of Anderson's slaves
[5] Ben was William’s brother Benjamin.Franklin. Anderson
[6] WRA’s letters
[7] a reference to WRA's request for fish hooks in letter dated 2/26/1862

-- Archive Item #7 FLA III to WRA

ink on blue

[Saturday] March 22 [1862]

Dear Billie,
This is the third letter I have written you I received your third letter [1] yesterday If it was not such a task for me to write letters I would write to you very often. I can always think of a great deal to write until I comince than I cant think of any thing . We are all getting on very well. Your crop is before any bodys else in the neighborhood. Your stock looks very good except the cows. Old Bossy has a beautiful little calf I had them brought in the yard soe that we could attend to them. The calf is a little tarrus [2] Uncle Ellis sold your colt for 235 dollars pade the Lovelace det with part of it. Farther has the balance. They finished planting corn last week. We have planted ground peas Farther says enough to make 10 bushels. We are going to have a nice water mellon pach My Garden is doing well if nothing happens to it I will have as many vegetables as Mrs any body Farther says you must not give your selfe any uneasiness about your crop. He expects to make as much as if you was her[e] Every body is mighty lowdown about the war They think the dark time is not far of[f].
When I wrote to you last I was not very well satisfied her[e] but am beter satisfied now. Phelia is staying with me. She seems to be enjoying her selfe finely. The children are very good to stay with us. If I could get well I think I think I would make out very well. There is no prospect of any baby. I do not have chills I am very weak and sick at my stomach all the time. Billie you must keep out of the war if you have to give every thing we have got [3] you do not [k]no[w] how much I mifs you write to me when you think you will be at home write soon
Your Affectionate Wife

[P.S.] I will send your box soon. Write often. Farther[‘s] family is well.

[1] This letter is also lost
[2] Taurus, or bull calf
[3] At this point in the war, William was a civilian 'state hand', helping to build fortifications around Mobile, Alabama. He was later conscripted and spent his time and energies trying to get home.

-- Archive Item #14 FLA IV to WRA

6 5/8” by 5/4 “
ink on white lined paper
folded folio

You must excuse your box ~ We have had to fix up two one for you and one for Jack [1]

[Friday] May 16th/62

Dear Billy
I wrote to you last but I expect to write every chance I have and want you to do the same. I was over home yesterday left there yesterday morning. We went by Farther’s [2] and took dinner. We found all well at home. Wesley [3] is behind with his crop but you know you left him that. PA [4] says he thinks you will make 40 or 50 bushels of wheat. He says it is the best he has seen this year. I am going down to Farther’s next week to stay. I shal stay at home the most of the time. if things don’t go on right I will go back and stay all the time. Kate and Fannie [5] will stay with me. Billy don’t trouble your selfe about thing[s] at home ~ they may not make quite as much as if you was there but we will not loos [lose] much ~ I will try and keep things going on when I am there ~ I have no news of interest to write. All we her is war news and not half of that – true. Every body in fine spirits thinking we will whip the yankeys yet. Billy if you get sick do come home if you can. Don’t do like a great many of them that get sick stay there until you can’t ~ you just ought to be her to se[e] what a nice bunch of hanks [6] I have spun. I am almost equal to a machine. I am going to have you a nice suit of janes when you come home. You must take good care of your selfe and Julien [7] and don’t let the yankeys get you. The family joins me in love to you
I am ever yours
[P.S] I will send your box by William Mosley [8] as Cap Pinkard [9] is sick and it may be some time before he leaves. I [will] send you two prs of cotton socks. I have not had time to knit yarn ones. I believe I have sent you everything that you wrote for except the pen shaft which I forgot to get when I was at home
Good by write often

[1] Jack probably refers to William's brother John R. Anderson, a member of the Ben Hill Volunteers (see related letter) John was killed at the first Battle of Gaines Mills a little over a month later..
[2] Pa refers to Fannie's father, Charles Lumpkin
[3] Wesley is either foreman or sharecropper[?]
[4] Farther refers to William's father—JRAnderson
[5] Kate and Fannie – WRA’s sisters Valinda Lucas Anderson (Mrs. P. Lanier) and Frances Anderson (Mrs.____)
[6] homespun handkercheifs
[7] Julien – probably his personal servant
[8] William Mosley [see bio]
[9] Cap Pinkard [see bio]

-- Archive Item #16 FLA V to WRA

Response to his letter dated xxx/xx/1862
Black ink on blue paper, 7 7/8”x 9 7/8”
1 sheet, front and half of back

At home June 6th/62

Dear Billy
I received your letter a few days ago ~ would have answered it immediately but it seems useless for me to write as you never get my letters ~ I am now at home ~ Kate and Fannie is staying with me I am not as lonely as I thought I would be but if it was not for your request I could not stay her[e] ~ I cant enjoy my selfe her and you gon[e] the place is dreary one to me ~ you don’t know how much I wish you was her[e] ~ Billy why don’t you try to get a discharg ~ you cant do your country good and you sick tell Co Bell if he will [give] you a discharg he may have Phela when he comes back her ~ one of the name will do as well as the same ~ you can get a substitute by paying a thousand dollars as for my selfe I had rather give haugh [sic] we have got than for you to stay ther ~ when you write agone tell me wat you would be willing to give one ~ I have herd that Randolf was fool of them I expect you could get one cheap ~ I have just taken a walk through your crop some of your corn is very pretty some is small ~ they have all worked will since I have been her as well as if you was her they are some behind yet Wesley says if it will just rane he will come it yet ~ Mrs Harelson has not been her since you left I don’t think she will trouble any thing her our far is just hard enough her ~ we have no sugar nor coffe nothing but meet and bread but we aught to bee satisfied when we can get that ~ Billie what have you done with your Bible don’t throw it away which a great many of the solgers do ~ William Harper has lost his two oldest girls with the Dip[theria] the health of the neighborhood is good at this time Farthers family is will Mother toled me to give the best respects to you ~ Kate and Fanny says if they could see you they would kip you excuse this badly written letter and write often
Fannie L Anderson
I will send you bed tick the first opportunity I have

-From Pine Log get Major Bell’s Battalion info
-Kat and Fannie – WRA’s sisters
-Phela – same as Phebe?
-is Randolf a town? Randolph Co is just above Chambers Co.
-JRA & MSCA mentioned – Farther /Mother

The John R. "Jack" Anderson Letters

The Anderson Letters

John Richardson Anderson, Sr.
William Richardson Anderson
8th Confederate Cavalry
his oldest son

--Archive item: #13 JRA,Sr. to WRA

May the 5 1862 Troup Cty – Ga

Deare Son
I received your letter yesterday ~ was glad to here you was better and hope you are well by this time. We are all well at this time = no news but what you had heard – times about the same We have had good deal of rain getting dry now. I have not bin to your place but once since you left. I found Fanny and Mr. Lumpkin their. They seemd to think things was going on pretty well. Fanny said she thought Wesley had bin very careful ~ seem to be well satisfied with his management. I told Fanny to come and stay at my house so she could go over every week ~ she said would as soon as her health improves a little more. Squir Adkerson read your letter ~ took on considerable over your comparison of bells battalion ~ told me to tel you to be sure to write to him give him the particulars tel him know every thing just as you thought to be certain. I will go over to your place as often as I can and do the best we can. They said Brown came over every day or too ~ he had to whip Bil ~ he came over to my house Satterday night Sunday morning and staid until Monday morning hour [ ? ] I never saw him.

May the 9 ~ went over to place yesterday find your crop about as you left it that is you left it in bad order it is stil so. Mr. Miller thought we had better turn out some of the poorest land ~ I will go over again next Tuesday and have Brown and Mr. Miller present ~ we will do what we think best. I went to your crib ~ you have about 20 barrels of corn ~ sent Wesley to see how much meat 8 hams 6 sides ~ carr[i]ed 4 sides to Lumpkins ~ I think he must have heard I offerd to take Fanny and the little Negro for nothing. Wesley was goin up 2 days to carry 4 pieces meat with wagon 2 horses out of the place = Jim & Nick sent home their trunk full off blankets yarn clothing. I will send you a blanket the first chance we have. If you need any thing write to me. Every thing seling high ~ I bought a barrel of sirrup the other [day] for 43 dollars. If I had not spoke as soon as I did it would have corst 55 ~ paid for it in bacon at 33 cents and lard at 32. ~ corn worth 120 cents wheat worth from 2 to 2.50 per bushel

I want heare from Bil Wallace whether he was in the retreat how many lost their hats tel Bil I thought he would fight / Bill Moseley & Jack Ward landed home safe I understood Bil injurd his horse badly in his flight / I went to se your hogs they look only tolerable / seem/am (?) try to live pray[er]ful so nomore (?) remain your effectionnate farther
Mr. B[rown] was offerd 250 dollars ^for colt^ asking 300 and expect to get it

write soon

--Archive item: #3 JRA,Sr. to WRA

B/B ink on white lines paper ___x___

portion of letter from JRA (father) to WRA, probably enclosed in a letter FLA wrote

…sends you a pare [sic] of pants write soon Gaines Slaughte died to day abought eleven oclock he never has bin well a day since he had the measles took a chil last Friday died to day Wednesday

Received a letter from John Hill says I must come after Nick he is not able to come by himself James was well and not hurt the 4 of July*** so no more at present re your uncle Ellis sends you ten dollars by Thos Grimmet

The Pauline Yates Correspondence I

The Anderson Letters
The PAULINE YATES Correspondence I
archive item #21

Pauline Anderson Yates


William Earl Anderson
nephew and Anderson family historian

The PAULINE ANDERSON YATES correspondence Letter #1

Small stationary envelope addressed to :
Mr. William Earl Anderson
c/o W. H. Anderson -
West Point, Georgia

Return address on back:
P.O. box 335
Lineville, Ala 36662
Cancellation: Lineville, AL Jun 23 p.m. 1969 36260 6 cent stamp

Lineville Ala
June 22-1969
My dear Earl,--
It was so nice to meet you and I am so glad you wanted to come to see me--!
After you left, I thought of a number of items, maybe? of interest to you in compiling data for your book-
Im reading books, which I've always done since I was a small child, I have noticed that books that contain anecdotes or personal stories always appeal most to the reader-so that's what I want to add to the other information that I gave you -
Of special interest to me has been - Despite the fact that there were no schools my father and grandfather managed to educate all their children - Papa taught school a while himself, after his return from the war - Then he had tutors and we had governesses as well as nurses until we did'nt need them! Your great-Uncle Bob got enough education to enter Mercu/Mercee/Mercel [???] and after one year he went to Auburn! He was at Mercu [???] when my father married my Mother!
Then when the public schools opened we drove a horse and buggy to school - Hard on us and the horse--!
Now about the place-looking and being a Negro house! Its been 61 years since we left there - It broke my fathers heart to leave his home and land that he truly loved. [2] But he was past 60 years of age and he had reached the point where he couldn't get the tenent farmers to work! Of course he could'nt do it him self and he did not have the patience to cope with them. There was a beautiful grove of trees to the South front of the house - In the grove out of sight and sound of the house were the Negro quarters - five houses in my youth - and over the creek was one other-
These people farmed the land on what was called halves! The owner furnished the mules - plows, wagons, and farm equipment, as well as the house, food and wood for the families! for their fuel! I'd hate to have to do that now! Then there was a gin house and black smith shop where they did their own cool repairs! Bob ran the gin - It was not for the public - Only our cotton and Bob's was ginned. When they finished that, it was closed until next year!
Now another note you must remember - which will explain why there were so many private cemeteries up the River - that had to be moved - [1] When one of these families died they were buried on their own land--! The people who were buried in city cemeteries were paupers! And considered as such - do you remember in reading "Gone With the Wind" the scene of the five Negro slaves and neighbor carrying Mr. O'Hara's body up to the back of the house and burying him on his own land "Tara"?
It was a custom of that day time, and section-I don't know if it was done in the North or not. Probably not!
Now this is a bit of a whimsy! Our place was considered to be haunted, or as the Negroes always said "hanted"! There was an old attic over the back part of the house. Where things were stored - my mother said she tried several times to send one of her Negro maids up after some item and they refused to go! It was the old part of the house and a former owner "Mr. Comberlander" was supposed to be up there at all times! Part of this story probably came from a natural condition - Our place was between the river and a creek. and all the woods and trees and rotting leaves caused Fox-fire or Will-O-the-Wisps!
Sometimes at night a ball of phosphorous (spelling?), would roll along by the side of your horse as you rode - Your great Uncle Ellis believed in the ghosts and loved to tell of how they would escort him and his horse home - It was lighter than air and just a wave of your hand would make it move away -
John Anderson who lived at Grand father's place used to sit on the steps, and watch. He said it looked like fiery pleums[ ? ] which beckoned and waved --! Enough to frighten anyone!
Jeanette Anderson Whittaker one of my contemporaries said she was surely disappointed in her papa--! She said she expected some unusual phenomina -like a sleight earth quake or some upheavel of nature when the U.S. Engineers dared to disturb his bones and add insult to injury move him off his beloved land!
Another thing that might be of interest is that my father was the Judge and settled all the disputes and quarrels among the Negroes on the farm. I remember on Sunday mornings papa would sit out on the front porch and they would come and sit on the steps and air their grievances! He must has been a physcologist as they seemed to go away satisfied!
Now my dear Earl, I'm afraid I've bored you to tears - and you may have to get some one else to read this for you -
By the way I'd like to have your address so that if I have any thing that may be of interest to you I could send it to you - With all good wishes for a successful life and may the book become a reality - Aff - Aunt Pauline

[1] Private cemeteries were moved by the U.S. Corps of Engineers as part of the West Point Dam Project during the 60's.

[2] Anderson Plantation house [click on photo to enlarge]

The Pauline Yates Correspondence II

The Anderson Letters
The PAULINE YATES Correspondence II
archive item #22

Pauline Anderson Yates


William Earl Anderson
nephew and Anderson family historian

The PAULINE ANDERSON YATES Correspondence - Letter #2

Small stationery envelope
Cancellation: Lineville AL Aug 24 p.m.1669 - 36266 - 6 cent stamp

[This letter arrived with several of the "more interesting" Civil War letters written by John R. Anderson, and his son William R. Anderson, and daughter in law Frances Lumpkin Anderson…]

Lineville Ala
Aug 21st 1969
Dear Earl,--
Please forgive my long delay in writing to you, but I've been real sick since you were here. I'm afraid I won't be able to write or help you much with the materials that you want to collect for your book-
But I want you to write and ask me whatever you think I might know and I'll try to write you as often as I can.
Now to your questions about the house that grandfather built - I never knew it in its prime - I, unfortunately, came along too late to know either of my grandparents on either side - you can see my father was so much older than my mother - He was 57 yrs old when I was born and 60 yrs old when my brother Watson was born - But according to all reports the house was an outstanding house in that area at the time - The grove in front of the house was beautiful and the white coat of paint was still in good repair - There were two carriage houses (We call them garages now!) Our house contained the carriage that grandmother drove down from Virginia in - and was sacrosanct!
Then there was (and still is) a well preserved "wheat house" for storing wheat for the families bread - The beautiful rat and bug proof bins are long since gone, but I remember them as being made of beautiful wide plomed [?] boards. There was a well to the right front of the house just off the kitchen which was connected to the "big" house by a covered "breezeway" - After Uncle Major and Aunt Florence died and John their son bought it, he tore the old kitchen and breeze way away and added a kitchen on the back of the house - By the way one of our childhood pleasures was to peek down in the "root" cellar at, [the ?] and under, the back of the house -
You see these old families had to stow enough food for themselves and their slaves. And I expect it took a lot!
The interior of the house has gone down from neglect and its age too. I feel the same way!! but I think in its time it was considered a handsome home - Did you see the poor old discarded mahogany piano in one of the front rooms - with its massive legs - Bought for my Aunts Fannie and Aunt Kate Anderson - when they were girls? When I was a child there was one room designated the "school. room" and we had free access to it after school hours, a governess held court there in school hours!!
As for the d├ęcor of the house it was old and shabby when I knew it and gradually got worse - I'm writing a distant cousin of yours Florence Anderson Murrow to write you what she remembers of the interior - She was raised there - There are two things of interest out side that I want to tell you - There was a slave grave yard north east of the house - with only field stones to mark the heads! These were moved recently by the U.S. Engineers and interred in the St. John's Negro cemetery --!!!
On my father's land which was across the road in front of the John R. Anderson place. More than a half mile in length was a split rail fence and it also bordered the field up to our house - But my father had planted on the fence a hedge of Cherokee roses which were really a beautiful sight ~ the hedge was impenetrable for man or beast and about eight feet wide across - The white rose - Georgias state flower.
The rail fence under the rose hedge had long since rotted away - but the one on the road up to our house was kept in repair - Yes the bricks were made on the place by the slaves from a small stream south of the place where they got the clay - I hope you noticed the wide boards in the hall ceiling walls - one can see the marks of the hand planes that were used - all done by hand!!!
I certainly did not mean to write such a long boresome letter but I must take a few minutes more to tell you of the precious enclosures! These letters are all over 100 years old and very faded and hard to read but I treasure them very highly ~ You are the only one of my family that I've showed them to - But since you are a Southerner I'm trusting that you'll love them as I do and that they will throw some light on your collection of data.
Handle them very carefully as they are very old - If you care for them you may keep them - If you don't want them I'll give them to the Dep't of Archives and History at Montgomery where they preserve them under glass - But I want you to have them - I have a few more but these had most of the interest -
The letter beginning Dear Son was from my grandfather to your great great grandfather - In fact it is a letter from your great great great grandfather which is unusual.
Write me soon - Love Aunt Pauline

The Pauline Yates Correspondence III

The Anderson Letters
The PAULINE YATES Correspondence III
archive items #23 & 24

Pauline Anderson Yates


William Earl Anderson
nephew and Anderson family historian

The PAULINE ANDERSON YATES Correspondence - Letter III [see enclosure below]

Legal sized envelope
Contains two letters
Archive item #23

Thursday P.M.
Sept 10th - 1969
Dear Earl,--
Thank you for your sweet letter. It did my heart good to have you say how you'd treasure the old letters. They are truly your heritage - I'm so happy that at last we have an Anderson man to carry on the name and take pride in his family's name and heritage!!!
I'm not going to write you a long letter this time, as I have some enclosures to send that will take up all the space. but I must tell you this!
Recently Myra - Watson's widow, who has married again - and her husband, took us down to John R. Anderson's old home place. Also to mine - which made me sick --! to see it as it is now - But to go back to what I want to tell you - There's a friend of my mother's and father who runs a country store - a Mrs. Williams who knows a lot about our family - She remembers me and also Watson as babies - She is 87 years old and still very alert and bright. We always stop with her? and buy a coke and visit. This last trip, there was a lady customer who waited and said she wanted to speak to me and told me that she lived at the old big white two story Stinson home! across the river --!
She said "And they came and dug Grandpa Stinson's body up" and took it to LaGrange and reburied it. I inferred that "they" were the U.S. Grave Removal detail that removed our loved ones graves. She said they interred the remains in Hillsborough cemetery. You might ask your Uncle Ray to see if he could learn who gave permission to move it - They have to have [?] that I know! Now I think he was your great great grandmother Mollies father - and according to the custom of that day he was buried close to his old home - I'm just guessing that - but I expect that will all go under water with the rest of the level land along-side the river.
I don't know about the West Point home of Capt Stinson ~ your grandfather Bill thinks as I do that the old Stinson home was up on the river near Glass's bridge - If you come down Christmas, why not ask one of your family to drive up there and see the old house? I remember it as a very distinguished looking place - Once my father took me by and showed it to me - And I think he loved Mollie best of all his wives! Just guessing!
Now to answer your questions the best I can.
(1) I don't know, but from all accounts I infer that Phelix was a slave of Fannie's - Probably inherited - or given when she married!
(2) I, too, have puzzled over "little Pitman" - I think papa was hoping Fannie was expecting a baby--! I have some more letters here - In one she says -There's no sign of a baby - (I'll send that on to you later.
(3) No I don't know too much about Mary Stinson's parentage. I had hoped Bill and Sara would look that up -
Theres one of your cousins - your great Uncle Bob's daughter Rebecca who is studying genealogy - She is also the great grandaughter of the same Stinson's as you are - she has a fairly complete history of the families on both sides - I asked her to write you, but I expect she is to busy -
Her name and address are,
Mrs. J. G. Ramey -
949 Northrope Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30324
and there's another distant cousin who is studying genealogy - she is (Miss Mary Lee Anderson 125-98 LaVista Road Decatur Ga 30031.) but she is not in my fathers will - she is Uncle Majors grand daughter and wouldn't have an active interest in your great great grand Mother.
(4) Yes I heard my mother say that in her young lady-hood that the women did wear the mourning clothes that you mention - I never saw anyone in deep mourning - That was a little before my time!! (I want you to be sure to get Margaret Bannisters book "Tears are for the Leaving [?]" and read it - you'll love it almost as much you do "Gone with the Wind." Margaret Bannister is from Lynchburg Virginia and I believe she knows whereof she speaks!! She describes the mourning clothes and customs very well in her book -
Now there's still another one of your cousins - who is nearer your age - who is interested in family history - She is Mrs. F. A. Bloukenship [?] -(Eva) 412 Hiller Rd. Towson Md 21204.
Her husband has his PHD in chemical research and is a teacher at Towson college. Eva is real smart but she is my Mothers grand daughter. the clipping enclosed came from folder that she sent me from Williamsburg - Odd that she refers to the Jones Anderson home too, as you did --! yes I'm almost sure that they are of our family!
Then the long letter - I hope you won't be bored stiff - has some items of interest that you may like - I can't write you all of every thing - I give out!! but I'm better than I was -
This started off to be a short letter and just look. 13 pages --!!
it was the extreme heat and humidity - that made me so sick - I'm sure of it now -!
But I hate to tell you that O.B. is failing so fast both mentally and physically --! Its his age I know and there's no cure for it!
Love Aunt Pauline

A second letter was enclosed in this one, from Jeanette Anderson Whittaker, cousin and contemporary of Aunt Pauline and friend. That letter follows:

The PAULINE ANDERSON YATES Correspondence - Letter #3 [ENCLOSURE]

Letter to Aunt Pauline from Jeanette Anderson Whittaker
Enclosed with archive item 23, addressed to Billy [WEA]
Archive item #24

305 Fourteenth Ave. E
Cordele, Georgia 31015
August 25, 1969

Pauline darling -
Such a treat talking to you and Florence, yesterday afternoon. About the nicest thing that has happened to me all summer, and next best to seeing you two in person! Blessings on that dial phone! Though I truthfully confess I get confused over the area codes, and do not take advantage of modern day inventions as I should!
I know it must have been a happy day for all of you to get together Had a letter from Florence later, telling me about it and the beautiful drive over to Lineville. I remember it well, for Sarah and I went tilting off over there one time. The roads were not as good then, and I was not an expert driver, so I've wondered since how I made it!
I'm trying to finish this letter much later - 9-28-69 - after starting it Monday. The days fly by so fast, and I have a rather hectic family, with so many interruptions!
I expect it took you and Florence a few days to rest up after so much talk-talk. Anyway, she didn't mention coming down here, which she has been promising and putting off all summer! It is just so far to undertake the trip by bus. Which somebody like Mrs Yates would happen along, only headed toward Cordele!
Pauline, dear, you said in your last letter, that you thought maybe your father was a "snob", and had you and Watson confused - remember? I don't agree. I think he was a born aristocrat! he and all his handsome children looked the part! There was no denying it - he was just trying to help you two adjust to a changing world, because after the War people of "family" were in a bad way. But there's no way to deny good blood! it may even seem to disappear for a generation or two, under poverty and hard times, but it is there in pride and independence, and shows up again in the first generation that has a fair chance at education and prosperity. Funny, huh?
Our brothers didn't have "much chance". Jim would have made a great doctor, and John a wonderful lawyer! But the "times" were against them.
So I rejoice when I hear of the youngest generation of all doing things, well or unusual. I am so glad "Earl" found old family History interesting. I know you enjoyed seeing him, and telling him things. I hope he does write a book some day. I always wanted to but never had the time, or much more important, the know-how! That old Family Bible is a treasure to be valued. I don't suppose it has the names and dates of our grandfather's children in it?
I think three or four of the older children were born in Virginia. I think Mary Jim's grandmother was the oldest child, then James, John, and "Uncle Billy".
I knew the titles Colonel, Captain, etc. were complimentary. As I heard it, Grandpa said if that man at the fort could make papa a major [for the whole story on Uncle Major, CLICK HERE], he could give titles to Ben and Billy. I thought Major was my father's name until I was a big girl in High School!
The fourth son was named "nick" (Nicholas) He ran away and joined the Army when he was fifteen. Grandmother cried and "took on" so, Grandpa got him released. Then as soon as he was sixteen he ran away again. Not matter how had she begged, this time Grandpa refused to get him back-"He has made his bed, let him lie on it!" he said. Nick was wounded - I remember a picture of him in a wheel chair. I think he went on to Texas with the vast number of Virginia kin, who had "refugeed"[sic] during the War, and stayed Out Home I think I have told you the story about John getting on the train in Mississipi [sic] and sitting down opposite a man hidden behind a newspaper. When the man put down his newspaper, they stared at each other speechlessly - for it was like looking in the mirror at himself! The man said, " Pardon me, my name is John Anderson." And brother John said, "Well, believe it or not my name is John Anderson!" Turned out they did belong to the same family. I never had heard of your trip out to stay with Ellis. I'm glad John Happened along. He was always so much fun. I think I've missed him more than any of my brothers, though I have really loved had, mischievous jack most of all.
I didn't know about the litter sister, Fannie Lily. You will have to add her to your chart. I knew there was a baby born to them, but I thought it was the five year old "Charles Lumpkin" and that he was listed as son of Uncle Billy and Aunt Molly by mistake - in the cemetery. Your father must have had kindly feelings for the Lumpkins to have used their name for the son of another wife, and she lost two of her four sons, poor lady!
It is so interesting to hear from you - so much I don't know. Do write when you feel like it. You are very dear to me, and I love to hear how you fare. Wish I had a strong right arm to offer but that is a very rare article these days!
Blessings on you and O.B. and
Much love, always

P.S. I do hope you can read this awful scratching and, pardon errors. It's this awful pen! I need a new one, but all my grand-errand running children are back in school again! I haven't anything but a small fluffy black kitten to pet! Sandra brings my doll of a great-grandchild every few days, she will be three months ole Sept. 1st. Much pleasure to all of us.
More love to you two
dear people,
P.S. Do you ever hear from Mary Jim?
Hope Mobile was not in the path of that terrible hurricane.

The Pauline Yates Correspondence IV

The Anderson Letters
The PAULINE YATES Correspondence IV
archive item #25

Pauline Anderson Yates


William Earl Anderson
nephew and Anderson family historian

The PAULINE ANDERSON YATES Correspondence - Letter #4

This is the last letter Aunt Pauline wrote to Billy.
It was written on small stationery paper and enclosed in a legal sized envelope.
The envelope also contained the rest of the Civil War Letters.

Lineville Ala
Dec 10-1969

Dear Earl,--
When I had your last letter I didn't have any idea it would be this long a time before I could write you, but O.B. has been a bed patient since the last of September-and except for the necessities of the house, I haven't been out-not even to church-and I'm a regular attendant when I'm able to go-So please excuse me this time! Tell your dad that OB has hardening of the arteries of the brain and will not be any better, I'm afraid. Sometimes he's very confused-doesn't realize where he is-and wants to go home! Its been rough!! I can't answer the questions now [that you asked], some of them I can't answer at all! But as soon as I can I'll write you again and answer those that I can-
We've had two deaths in our fast diminishing family since I wrote you last. your great Uncle Bob's widow Carrie, died in Atlanta-was buried there-and Jeonette Anderson Whittaker, the author of the letter I enclosed in my last letter to you-she was very close to me-we were the same age and spent our child hood years together - She was my age and we had a lot of memories in common-Earl, I'm enclosing the rest of my fathers letters-some from his wife Fannie-and one from one of his brothers in Virginia-also on a slip of paper-a note from John R. Anderson-grandfather-Be sure to not! some of them are so dim I can't read them-Maybe you can!-I believe you'll find parts of them interesting!!
I'm looking forward to the Christmas card picture of your family-don't fail to send me one! and if you come to West Point for Christmas be sure to ask someone to bring you up to see me-I Want to see you without fail! By the way I gave Bill, your granddad, the old bible-He said he intended to have it rebound. I hope he will give it to you!
Back to the letters-In the note from John R. Anderson he says that "Uncle Ellis is sending you ten dollars by Mr. Grimmet!"-That Ellis was Ellis Carter, Mary Susan's brother-If you refer to your family chart-Later papa named his eldest son for him! Ellis Anderson! Son of his second wife!
Because of space I won't write so long a letter this time-Hope you'll have a very happy Christmas and that all of your family stay well and happy-
Write me when you have time-Specially if you receive the letters-Love from
Aunt Pauline

Journal Entries of William Earl Anderson

The Anderson Letters
archive item # 26

The Journal Entries of WILLIAM E. ANDERSON - 1969-70

The following entries are pertinent to the exchange of info between Aunt Pauline and Billy in 1969, her death, and the loss of our heritage…


Thursday, June 19, 1969

[written during a visit to Georgia] …At 1 we picked up Aunt Sara & stopped at Providence Church where Great g'mother Anderson's kin are buried. Then we went to Lineville, Ala. and saw my great great Aunt Pauline and Uncle O.B. Yates.They (esp. a. Pauline) are just so delightful and sweet, but they are so much in pain of old age. I got loads of information on our family. It is all fascinating. I fell in love with the family Bible-all names & dates. It rained while we were there…

Tuesday, August 26, 1969

I got two letters from the South today. The first was from Grandmother…The other was from Aunt Pauline. Even tho she's been real sick she sent me information on the family and is getting Florence Anderson Murrow to write to me. Also~her precious treasure: letters written in 1862 by her father & his 1st wife Fannie & one from John R. Anderson in perfect condition. Now I love her and I will treasure these priceless articles close to my heart for I am a Southerner~~

Sunday, June 21, 1970

I felt quite saddened this morning. Dad called G'daddy to wish him Happy Father's Day", then Grandmother got on the phone - she was quite upset when Dad told her only we were coming - then he said (I was at top of stairs on my way to get a shower),"No, Earl didn't know about that. "Mom started asking him what was the matter but he didn't answer. When he hung up he came to foot of stairs and told me that they buried Aunt Pauline yesterday. It hurt me terribly, and I had an empty feeling because I thought that maybe if I'd written to her and told her that I was coming to see her, maybe she'd have held on until I got there. By looking in my 69 diary, I saw her my 1st and only time on June 19 a year exactly before she died, only a year! The last time she wrote was Dec. 11 and sent me more priceless Civil War letters, incl one from that evasive figure on the charts John Anderson who died for Jeff Davis ( James, too).

Monday, June 22, 1970

… Tonite I entered the saddest date in my fam. tree. June 19, 1970 which is the date that in all probability Aunt Pauline died on (according to Southern burial customs)

Tuesday June 23, 1970

"Today would be dear Aunt Pauline's 77th birthday, and I know Uncle O. B. must be worried that he will have to be put in a nursing home - Aunt Pauline always hoped that he'd go first because she knew he couldn't get along without her. I do hope, tho, that perhaps I was one of the special people she thought of in her last hours, in reading a letter I got from Aunt Sara, I do find that she knew I got into National Honor Society. When I do write my novel it will be dedicated to her; she knew of plans to write it, waited patiently, and died before she had a chance to read it:"

Friday June 26, 1970

…Aunt Pauline had a heart attack Sat 6-13 & died at 9:30 the next night! Funeral was the next Tues in the Baptist church with the only members of the family - G'dad & G'mother, aunt Sara & Rebecca Ramey. The husb if he dies first, next in line is his family So we can get none of the pictures or silverware. Uncle O. B is in a nursing home and the house is just lying there waiting to be broken into. It makes me heart sic, to know our heritage will be lost…"

Saturday June 27, 1970

"Aunt Sara told me more about the funeral - the preacher had no trouble with the sermon, desc. Aunt Pauline as "cultured, intellectual, and charming." The family is now looking for W.R.Anderson's will which leaves his things to Pauline's heirs. Uncle O.B. has everything in his name, so the Anderson's can't get any thing (Aunt Sara thinks that is "ugly") and said, when told of his wife's death, "I declare." The Bible is mine tho, and Aunt Sara was to get her grandfather's clock & all the pictures but we can't get them cuz it would be breaking and entering. Had a light lunch, then Tina & Warren got back from fishing - 12 fish. and we all sat around at our own pastimes. At 4 all of us went out to Harmony Church and saw the cemetery - full of huge weeds & ill-kept. the plantation is torn down, another heart break.

Tuesday June 30 1970

"Monthly analysis: …I'll make it short…[list] and I was saddened to learn of the death of the oldest member of the Anderson family, Aunt Pauline, but am thankful she sent me her letters when she did…"